Any Windsor real estate agent will tell you: Don’t ignore a home inspection. To this day I can’t understand why anyone would potentially risk losing thousands of dollars just to save an inspection fee.
Many buyers think that if inspections aren’t mandatory, then why should they pay for something that may not be necessary? Not only is this a necessary service, but it also provides peace of mind that you are purchasing a quality investment. Look at it this way: If you were going to invest $500,000 in the stock market, don’t you think you would conduct research before writing a check? A home inspection is part of the research when buying a home.
In Windsor and the surrounding area, the real estate market is improving. Some homes are even receiving multiple offers and going above the asking price. Any home in a desirable location that is priced right has the real potential of selling quickly. With multiple offers, buyers will often concede many things to make their offer more attractive. One may be a home inspection even despite an agent’s warning. Why? Agents understand that a home inspection is the best money a buyer will spend.
Here in Canada, some of the biggest issues regarding our homes involve the weather. Our climate can be tough and our properties don’t escape this. For example, houses need to be checked for water problems. A seller may not have properly maintained their home from water leaks. Issues such as bad siding, poor roofs, faulty drainage, rotting wood framing can create plenty of problems, all which can be expensive repairs to an unsuspecting buyer.
Other issues we see quite often here are electrical problems. Older homes may have damaged or faulty wiring. Not only is this dangerous, but when installed improperly can be a real fire hazard. Other concerns include wiring that is not up to current codes. An inspector can tell a buyer what the problems and dangers are if this is not corrected.
As Canadians, we use our heating systems many months of the year due to our cold winters. So of course, buyers want to move into a home with a heating unit that has been properly maintained. An inspector can tell you if a system is faulty, needs new filters or determine if it has a decent life span or will need to be replaced in the near future.
Another common problem is mold. Once this gets inside a home, mold spreads and is very difficult to get rid of especially if not treated properly. Some mold can be a health hazard and dangerous, therefore a home inspector can detect mold where it’s most likely to occur. This is usually in areas where moisture can be a problem, such as damp basements, ceilings, under sinks or in bathrooms.
Of course, inspectors review and investigate those hard to reach places that no buyer normally goes such as the crawl space, attics, etc. Here water damages, bad insulation, poor plumbing, pest and termite damage and structural damage can often be discovered among other things.
These potential problems, and others, are why you need to hire a home inspector. Imagine moving into a home with bad electrical wiring, therefore putting your family at risk? What about mold that hasn’t been detected by the previous owner? What if the heating unit needs to be replaced shortly after you move in? All of these repairs could very well fall on a buyer’s shoulders. Is this worth saving a few hundred dollars for a home inspection?
And understand that new home construction should also be inspected since the majority of the work is handled by subcontractors, who have provided the homebuilder with the lowest of bids than their competitors. While a buyer may be familiar with their builder, they probably don’t know who handled the plumbing or electrical issues, as well as who poured the foundation and installed the framing. Mistakes can be made, but not discovered until too late.
A good and thorough home inspection should be regarded as a check up, much like going to the doctor. This is where you will have the opportunity to learn if the condition of your home is safe and if repairs are necessary. It’s an understanding EXACTLY what the condition of your future home is.
Making an educated decision when buying your home is the best thing you can do for your peace of mind and pocketbook.